His Mission/C10 The party before my birthday
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His Mission/C10 The party before my birthday
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C10 The party before my birthday

"Party at mine! Everybody is invited." Ivory grins excitedly, handing me and Trish a note with an address scribbled messily across it. Her auburn hair flies across her face as she bounces up and down with excitement. It's Friday afternoon which is prime party planning time for students. I immediately open my mouth to tell her I won't be attending but Trish digs her fingers into my arm to stop me.

"Thanks for the invite! We'll be there," Trish smiles. Ivory does a small cheer before moving onto the group of people beside us.

"Trish! You know I'm not allowed to go to parties." I tell her. Trish pouts sadly, giving me her best puppy dog eyes. It's so hard to resist her puppy dog eyes.

"Please Em! It's your birthday tomorrow so think of it as your birthday party!" She pleads with me. I shake my head and know Trevor will be furious if he finds out I went to the party.

"I can't. I have to tell Ivory I'm not going." I respond quietly.

"Come on, Em! I know it's not your scene but do this for your best friend! Please?" Trish whines, her voice dripping with persuasion. I hesitate for a second and chew on the inside of my cheek. Trish takes it as her cue to persuade me further.

"I never go to any parties with you! Just lie to your Mom and she'll never know," Trish smiles with a sparkle in her light eyes. I feel myself swaying towards her offer.

"I'll see what I can do," I respond, feeling the nerves and excitement beginning to build up inside me. I've imagined my first party for so long.

I pull out my phone and find Mum's number before taking a deep breath and calling her. Trish nervously sits beside me, her leg bouncing up and down in anticipation. I cross my fingers on my left hand and Trish does the same with both of hers so we have maximum luck on our side. Mum finally answers after a few rings. I breathe in deeply, ready to throw my acting skills in her direction.

"Hey! So it's really close to exam week and I'm behind on homework. I was wondering if I could spend the night at Trish's house. You remember my friend Trish from school, right?" I ask, clearly rambling way too quickly.

"Slow down! Yes, I remember Trish." Mum says on the other end. I bite down on my lip, waiting for her to decide whether I can stay with Trish tonight.

"Please, Mum? Trish is a genius at Math and I need the extra help." I lie effortlessly. Trish slaps a hand over her mouth to contain her giggle at the Math excuse.

"Okay, fine. You can study at her house tonight but you need to be back tomorrow morning." Mum says, taking you completely by surprise. My eyes widen in shock and I begin jumping up and down in my seat.

"Thank you!" I say quickly, ending the call before she can change her mind. Trish's eyes light up and she squeals loudly, holding out her arms. I squeal back in response and lunge for her before embracing her in a tight hug.

"I can't believe this! My best friend is going to part-ay with me tonight!" She celebrates before pulling away. There's a knowing smirk playing on her lips.

"Maybe Jake Melvin will be there?" Trish teases, wiggling her brows at me suggestively. I feel my cheeks heat up in embarrassment and shake my head in protest.

"No way. A guy like Jake Melvin isn't going to attend the party." I say quickly. Trish rolls her eyes and leans forward on the table to close the distance between you.

"What's going on between you two anyway? Are you catching feelings?" She whispers under her breath. I panic and glance around the room but thankfully, nobody overheard her.

"No! We're just friends." I mutter back. The blush on my cheeks deepens and I quickly hide them behind my hands. The truth is, Jake and I talk every night. The late night phone calls would sometimes drift over into the early hours of the morning.

"Oh, please. There's obviously a connection between you. I don't blame you, he's hot." Trish teases me further. I glare at her dangerously and she giggles before changing the subject.

"I cannot wait to party with you. This is going to be the best night ever!" She says, accompanying her excitement with a happy dance. I giggle and join in with her because I'm just as excited as she is.

We both head to Trish's house after school to find an outfit for the party.

"Trish! I cannot wear that!" I groan, staring in shock at the shortest dress in history. Trish giggles and holds the dress up to study it.

"Jake will like it," she winks, causing me to shoot her a stone cold glare.

"I don't dress to please a guy." I tell her firmly. She rolls her eyes playfully before disappearing back inside her wardrobe. Yes, it really is big enough to get lost in.

"Aha!" she yells triumphantly, appearing with a dress in her hands. It's gold, short and covered with sequins. I gawk at the dress and throw Trish an amused look.

"How many prostitute costumes do you own?" I tease her. Trish gasps before giving the dress a once over. Her lips twitch up into a knowing smile.

"Actually, I see your point. This one is definitely a no." She says before throwing it to the floor.

"I think I'll dress myself," I smile, rolling off the bed and heading for her wardrobe. I settle on a pink floral shirt with denim jeans and cute boots. The outfit covers the scars and bruises running up and down my body and that's good enough for me. My hair is loosely curled and I apply dark makeup to my eyes to accentuate the colour. After applying a pink gloss and spraying perfume all over, I'm ready to go.

"Wow. We look hot," I joke, holding my hand in the air for Trish to high five. Trish beams back at me and slaps her palm to mine.

"Yes we do." Trish smiles, adjusting her bright pink crop top. Her figure looks amazing in her shirt and black ripped jeans. You laugh when she reaches for her pink stiletto heels.

"Aren't you too dressed up?" I ask her. She shakes her head and throws a wink in my direction as she slips on her heels.

"There's no such thing. Come on, we've got a party to get to!" Trish giggles excitedly, grabbing my hand and dragging me out of her room. A smile stretches across my lips as I realize I'm finally going to experience my first party.

"Let's make my first party a memorable one." I state, turning to give Trish a beaming smile. Her hand tightens in mine and I squeeze it back, grateful to have my best friend by my side.

As soon as the taxi parks up outside and I step out, I gaze up at Ivory's house in awe. The large building that stands in front of me is decorated beautifully from the outside with the grass trimmed and flowers tended to. Two expensive looking cars are parked across the driveway.

"Wow," I say under my breath, my stomach breaking out into nervous butterflies. Beside me, Trish let out a low whistle.

"Are you ready?" She asks me, holding out her palm. I glance down at it before nodding. She takes hold of my hand, intertwining our fingers together. Her warmth spreads through my palm, calming down the nerves bubbling inside of me.

When we enter, the hallway and living room is crowded with teenagers, laughing and chatting. The music blares all around the house, bouncing off the walls. I crane my neck, noticing a large group of tightly packed people dancing in the living room. Across from them, a bunch of guys are playing beer pong, clutching bottles of alcohol with silly carefree smiles on their faces.

"Emily! Trish! You made it!" Ivory grins, appearing in front of me. She hands me a drink in a plastic white cup and I take it from her, smiling back.

"Hey! Yeah I did, this looks great!" I said loudly, leaning into her ear so that she can hear me over the loud music. Any louder and we'll all be deaf within the next hour. . .

"It's one of my legendary parties, trust me. You won't forget this night!" She grins widely before wandering off into the crowds of people. I lift the cup to my nose and sniff it warily. The smell of alcohol knocks me back so I slowly put it down behind me on a table, grimacing slightly.

"Oh come on, it's not that bad." Trish chuckles from my side and I roll my eyes before picking the drink back up.

"I guess it is my birthday tomorrow, right?" I said, justifying my action. Trish nodded eagerly, signalling for me to take a drink. I lifted it up gingerly to my lips and let the liquid run down my throat. Surprisingly it didn't taste as bad as I thought it would, fruity with a little zing to it.

"That isn't as bad as I thought it would be," I tell her and Trish giggles, taking a large drink from her own cup. She leans in closer towards me, her features turning serious.

"Lesson number one, don't leave your drink unattended. Lesson two, stay away from the hoe's and their bro's. Lesson three, don't wander off with a weird guy you don't know, okay?" She says firmly. I nod at her, trying my best to remember all of her tips. Trish nods in satisfaction, her head bouncing up and down.

"Good, and most importantly, have fun!" She grins, pulling me into a tight bear hug. I return her embrace, breathing in deeply.

"Thanks, Trish."

She pulls back and smiles at me before placing one hand on either shoulder.

"You've got this! Say it with me."

"Yeah, I've got this." I repeat her words, sounding confident. The volume of the music grows louder and Trish cheers loudly along with several other people.

"I'm going to get another drink, I'll be back in a minute!" Trish yells, disappearing off into the crowd. I nod and smile, watching her go before taking another sip of my drink.

My eyes scan over the crowd and land on a familiar face - Austin.

I wave at him, giving him a friendly smile. We've spoken once or twice but never had an in depth conversation. Austin is good looking with his caramel toned skin and large brown eyes. His lashes are long and fluttery, much to the dismay of every girl in here. He's never short of female attention and I watch as he wanders over towards me, shooting me a cute grin. His eyes drink in my appearance and I find myself blushing, a red tint covering my cheeks.

"You look cute when you blush!" He laughs, pointing at my cheeks. I gave him a shy smile, feeling my cheeks heat up further.

"I look like a tomato when I blush, don't lie to me." I say playfully, taking another sip of my drink. Austin laughs, his brown eyes lighting up with humour.

"Are you enjoying the party?" I ask him and he nods, taking a step closer to me.

"I haven't seen anyone I like the look of until now." His words are suggestive and I can feel the blush spread from my cheeks to the tips of my ears. I don't respond and focus on trying not to blush any further. Austin notices the blush deepening on my cheeks and chuckles. He reaches out and places a hand on my waist.

"You look great. Do you want to dance?" He asks eagerly. I nod my head because I'm here to have a good time and rarely get the opportunity to dance and act like a normal teenager.

"Yeah, let's dance!" I respond, following him towards the crowd of dancing bodies. Trish joins us soon after and all three of us dance and drink whilst laughing. The night quickly progresses and before I know it, I'm already on my fourth drink.

"Are you having fun?" Trish leans close and yells into my ear. I nod my head and beam back at her. She gestures to the stairs and hiccups due to her slightly tipsy state.

"I'm going to the bathroom, do you want to come?" She asks. My eyes flicker over Austin who's looking at me with a flirtatious smile on his face. I shake my head and point to Austin.

"I'll stay here and dance. Is that cool?" I respond. Trish smirks knowingly and nods her head repeatedly.

"Of course! I think he likes you," She comments, whispering down my ear. I giggle and watch as she begins weaving through the crowd to get to the bathroom. Austin approaches me almost immediately and his eyes drink in my appearance.

"You're an awesome dancer," Austin compliments me. I smile up at him and do the classic robot move. Austin chuckles at my goofiness and I grin back at him. The alcohol begins to take effect and I close my eyes to dance to the music booming through the house. Halfway through, I feel a hand land on my waist. I open my eyes to find Austin leaning in super close. His warm breath tickles my lips and I giggle nervously before shuffling back.

"Where are you going? This feels good," Austin says smoothly whilst his hand tightens on my waist. I plaster a fake smile on my face and gently try to pry his hands off my body. I'm not comfortable with people touching me so freely, no doubt because of Trevor.

"I think I need a different drink," I smile at him nervously. I begin to move away but Austin's fingers dig into my waist, directly above the bruises caused by Trevor. My jaw clenches as I breathe through the discomfort but Austin remains oblivious.

"I think I'm going to go find Trish!" I yell at him. He shakes his head and pretends like he can't hear me over the music. My heart begins thumping faster inside my chest as he makes no attempt to move his hands off me. I place mine over his and forcefully push them off.

"Let go of me, Austin." I tell him as my hands begin to tremble. He's staring at my body with hunger in his eyes and I watch as they turn shades darker. Austin inches closer and lowers his head so he's pressed up against me. I try to move away but I'm trapped between sweaty bodies, caged in like an animal. I find myself struggling to breathe as a tight hold captures my lungs. The scent of alcohol on Austin triggers my trauma from dealing with a drunken Trevor.

My eyes squeeze shut and I breathe deeply to calm the ferocious beating of my heart. The last person I want to think about tonight is Trevor. Austin doesn't seem to hear or see my discomfort. He pushes his body into mine and I shove hard at his chest, hating the way he feels against me.

"This isn't fun anymore! Get off me!" I protest, my words doing little to slow him down. I stare around helplessly for someone to help but everybody is engrossed in their own world.

"Please get — "

I don't have a chance to finish my sentence because he's ripped away from me in an instant. I blink and step back, stumbling into drunken bodies behind me. Austin is lying on the floor, his eyes wide with surprise and fear.

"Oh my god," I gasp with relief as I place a hand on my chest. My sides are throbbing painfully and I can't help but wince in pain every time I move. Jake Melvin stands over Austin, his shoulders squared defensively. My eyes travel down to his fist that is tensed and ready to strike. He breathes like a raging bull and swings his arm back to hurt Austin.

"Jake, don't!" I cry, lunging towards him as he leans down to hit him. One of Jake's friends picks me up in one swift move and pulls me back in the crowd, not allowing me to get in between Jake and Austin.

"You don't want to get in the middle of that, sweetheart," he mutters in my ear, holding me back.I continue to watch in horror as Jake grips Austin by the collar and drags him to his feet. He makes it look effortless despite Austin being the same size as him.

"The girl asked you to get off her. She shouldn't have to ask twice." Jake warns him, his words icy and dripping with danger. The music suddenly lowers and people murmur under their breaths as they watch the confrontation unfold.

"She didn't want me to get off her, she was enjoying it." Austin spits back drunkenly, his eyes burning intensely. My eyes widen in surprise at his lies and I shake my head to protest my innocence. Jake doesn't bother to turn around and question me because he already knows the answer.

"If you try that again, you can enjoy my fist in your face." Jake hisses, leaning down to his ear. He doesn't make an effort to quieten his words down, everyone can hear his threat. Austin simply chuckles at Jake, challenging him to hit him already.

"She isn't yours to protect, get the hell off me." Austin hisses. Jake makes a low sound in protest which resembles a growl coming from his throat. I watch in horror as he swings his head back before smashing it into Austin's face. A scream escapes my throat and I turn my head so I don't see the blood that follows. Jake's head snaps towards me and I almost recoil backwards from his eyes.

I immediately grow silent and remain frozen to the spot.

His blue eyes are cold and emotionless, lacking any slither of warmth. My heartbeat thuds away inside my ears and I open my mouth to say something but quickly clamp it shut again. His dangerous eyes resemble one person in my life that I'm terrified of - Trevor.

I'm going to be okay, I just have to remember to breathe.

Visions of Trevor beating me with the same cold eyes clouds my mind and I feel like a hand is closing in around my throat tightly. I gasp like a fish out of water and Jake's eyes soften considerably. He walks towards me and I shake my head further, unable to tell him to stop.

"What's wrong? Are you hurt?" I hear Jake ask distantly but Trevor's threats filled my eyes, taunting me. An arm wraps around my shivering body and I whimper in protest, yanking it away from me. My head is pounding hard and my lungs tighten further, ripping away the oxygen from me.

"Emily?" Jake says, his voice filled with concern.I ignore his voice and begin to push through the crowds to find an exit. My legs wobble unsteadily and my vision blurs despite rubbing at my eyes furiously.

"I need some air," I whisper, barely able to hear my own words. I use the bodies of others to keep myself standing but it isn't enough. My chest tightens further and I wheeze for any slither of oxygen. The inability to breathe finally catches up with me and I feel my eyes roll the back of my head before everything goes dark.

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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